Organizations around the world remain in a race to secure their critical infrastructures as cybersecurity incidents continue to increase.
Just recently, the Canadian foreign ministry reported that it is grappling with a cyberattack that has impacted its internet-based services. This attack occurred after Canada’s Signals Intelligence Agency warned and advised critical infrastructure operators should increase protection against Russian state-sponsored cyberthreats.1
The Ukrainian government also reported that several government websites, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, were attacked with threatening texts. They also claimed that personal information had been stolen. The country claims these cyberattacks were likely performed by Russia. As many as 70 central and regional authority websites were targeted.2
According to a report by Check Point Research, a cybersecurity firm, attacks on corporate networks grew 50% in 2021 from the previous year. The fourth quarter of 2021 marked an all-time high for weekly cyberattacks per organization, with an estimated 925 attacks. The security vulnerability with Log4j, a Java library for logging error messages in applications, was a key driver in attacks near the end of the year.
The report identified industries and geographical regions where cyberattacks were most prevalent. Organizations in the education and research market witnessed the highest volume of cyberattacks in 2020—an increase of 75% in cybersecurity incidents. Defence, military, government, and communications firms also witnessed increased cyberattacks.
Check Point Research reported that organizations in Africa witnessed the most attacks in 2021, followed by the Asia-Pacific region, Latin America, Europe, and North America.3
A Closer Look at Cybersecurity Companies
Fortinet provides broad, integrated, and automated cybersecurity solutions to organizations in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the Asia-Pacific. Total revenue for the fourth quarter of 2021 at Fortinet amounted to $963.6 million. This was up 29% year-over-year. Revenue for the full-year of 2021 was $3.34 billion, up 29% year-over-year.
Fortinet’s net income for the fourth quarter of 2021 was $199.0 million or $1.19 per diluted share versus $146.7 million or $0.89 per diluted share in the same quarter of 2020. For the entire year, net income was $606.8 million or $3.63 per share. In 2020, Fortinet generated a net income of $488.5 million or $2.91 per diluted share.
The company also provided an outlook for the first quarter of 2022. Fortinet expects revenue in the range of $865 million to $895 million. For the entire year, revenue is forecasted to be between $4.2 billion and $4.3 billion.4
BlackBerry Limited was once a leading phone maker, but is now making strong strides in providing intelligent security software and services to enterprises and governments worldwide. The company announced recently that it will be selling its legacy patents related to its mobile devices, messaging, and wireless networking for $600 million.
These patents were acquired by Catapult IP Innovations, a special purpose vehicle. This sale is expected to take up to 210 days. Once this deal closes, BlackBerry will receive $450 million in cash, and a promissory note in amount of $150 million.
The core patents related to cybersecurity services and automotive software remain with BlackBerry.5
Investing in the Cybersecurity Industry with CYBR ETF
If you’re looking to invest in a cybersecurity ETF, consider Canada’s first cybersecurity ETF, Evolve Cyber Security Index Fund (TSX Ticker: CYBR). CYBR ETF invests in global companies involved in the cyber security industry. For more information, visit the fund page here: https://evolveetfs.com/product/cybr/.
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- Lyngaas, S., “Hackers target Canada’s foreign ministry in cyber attack,” CNN, January 25, 2022; https://www.cnn.com/2022/01/25/politics/hackers-canada-cyber-attack/index.html.
- Krebs, K. and Kwon, J., “Cyberattack hits Ukraine government websites,” CNN, January 14, 2022; https://www.cnn.com/2022/01/14/europe/ukraine-cyber-attack-government-intl/index.html.
- Greig, J. “Cybersecurity: Last year was a record year for attacks, and Log4j made it worse,” ZDNet, January 11, 2022; https://www.zdnet.com/article/report-increased-log4j-exploit-attempts-leads-to-all-time-peak-in-weekly-cyberattacks-per-org/.
- “Fortinet Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2021 Financial Results,” Fortinet, Inc., February 3, 2022; https://investor.fortinet.com/news-releases/news-release-details/fortinet-reports-fourth-quarter-and-full-year-2021-financial.
- Kwan, C., “BlackBerry sells smartphone and messaging patents after shuttering smartphone services,” ZDNet, January 31, 2022; https://www.zdnet.com/article/blackberry-to-sell-its-smartphone-patents-weeks-after-shutting-down-its-smartphone-arm/.